Children as Human Rights Activists?

Critical Perspectives on ngo and igo Learning Materials Produced for Early Childhood Education and Care

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Anette Ringen Rosenberg Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Agder, Agder, Norway,

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This article focuses on human rights education (hre) situated in early childhood education and care (ecec). hre intends for children to become rights conscious subjects grounded in situations familiar to the child. Using critical discourse analysis of hre learning materials, I show how non-and intergovernmental organisations (ngo/igo s) include specific understandings of children as rights-subjects into their hre. I investigate what subject positions learning materials from three ngo/igo s offer children and how these positions inform hre for ecec. The findings demonstrate that the materials present a dichotomous image where societies are either compliant or non-compliant with human rights. This notion leads to the positioning of the activist and actionist rights subjects. The latter further positions some children as goals of the actionist´s actions. This has implications for the theory and practice of hre in ecec, as the positions of rights subjects guide hre in certain directions and legitimises these over other practices.

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